If I Had A Hammer

By Mark Hopper

It is a privilege and an honor to be a grandfather to eight precious grandchildren. They bring delight and joy into our lives.

One of the special benefits of being a grandparent is the variety of gifts that we receive from our grandchildren.  I’m sure that their parents provide guidance and assistance as our grandkids select and send us gifts for Christmas.

In past years, there have been T-shirts, sweaters, hats, gloves and DVD’s and books and many other memorable gifts. This year was no exception. My wife and I received several different gifts including a 2018 calendar that is filled with photos of all of our grandchildren. We smile as we look over these calendars each year and we are amazed at how quickly our grandkids are growing up. The photo calendars make a nice gift that we use all year long.

This year, there was an unusual but useful gift that I did not expect. It was heavier than the other gifts and it came in a rather large box. I had no idea what it was until I opened the package and found a beautiful, 16 ounce hammer!       I already own several hammers, but this one is very special. It has an inscription carved into the wooden handle that reads, “Pop Pop (my name) – We love making memories with you”. Engraved on the other side of the handle are the names of two thoughtful grandchildren.

Do you remember a song form the 1960’s, “If I Had A Hammer”?  It was actually written in 1949 by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger, but it didn’t become a huge hit until it was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962. The theme of their song had political and social overtones that made it controversial and unpopular with some people. I don’t remember the lyrics but I do remember the tune.

I’m not sure if I should mount this new hammer on my office wall and preserve it as a memorable gift from my grandkids or if I should put it in my tool box and use it on projects around the house. I’m leaning in the direction of using the hammer instead of just viewing the hammer.  I think my grandchildren would be happy to know that “Pop Pop” is building, repairing and making new things with the hammer that they gave to me at Christmas.

I think that part of our job as grandparents is to keep on building and fixing things for the generations that follow. I believe that we should stay active and keep busy doing things for others. We should use our skills and experience to teach and help others.

Let me encourage you to look for ways that you can continue to help others. Is there a tool box in your garage that has tools that can be used to build and make repairs around your house or in your neighborhood?  Do you have technological or mechanical skills that can benefit others? I’m sure that when I use this new hammer I will remember the grandchildren who gave it to me!

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Each one of you should use whatever gifts and abilities you have to serve others” (First Peter 4:10).  If you have a skill, experience, training, ability or only a hammer – let me encourage you to use it to help others. You will be glad you did and they will too!

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM